OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:43 PM – Tuesday, July 11, 2023
A Georgia state representative who enraged her Democrat colleagues in the Georgia state House of Representatives when she chose to support a recent school choice measure has recently revealed her decision to switch parties.
Mesha Mainor, a Democrat who has represented District 56 in the Georgia State House since January 2021, announced her decision to change parties on Tuesday morning.
“When I decided to stand up on behalf of disadvantaged children in support of school choice, my Democrat colleagues didn’t stand by me,” Mainor said, explaining her decision in a statement. “They crucified me. When I decided to stand up in support of safe communities and refused to support efforts to defund the police, they didn’t back me. They abandoned me.”
“For far too long, the Democrat Party has gotten away with using and abusing the black community,” she added. “For decades, the Democrat Party has received the support of more than 90% of the black community. And what do we have to show for it? I represent a solidly blue district in the city of Atlanta. This isn’t a political decision for me. It’s a moral one.”
Mainor stated unequivocally that her cross-party cooperation will continue once she switches parties, adding that she has “never hesitated to work across the aisle to deliver results for my community and the people I was elected to represent. And that won’t change.”
The Georgia representative went on to say that she was “met with much encouragement” amid her choice to change political parties and also added that it’s “humbling to be embraced, for the first time in a long time, by individuals who don’t find fault in a black woman having a mind of her own and be willing to buck the party line.”
When asked if she expects Democrat opposition regarding her decision, Mainor responded, “The most dangerous thing to the Democrat Party is a black person with a mind of their own. So, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
After switching parties, Mainor stated that she would continue to prioritize education and Republican majority growth in the House.
“Education and the importance of school choice has been, and will continue to be, a key focus of mine,” Mainor said. “But outside of education, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Georgia General Assembly to tackle the most pressing issues facing our state and to help grow the Republican Party, helping us not focus not just on preaching to the choir but growing the congregation.”
In a social media video posted in May, the Georgia official accused Democrats of turning against her because of certain advocacy topics that she chose to support.
“I support school choice, parent rights, and opportunities for children to thrive, especially those that are marginalized and tend to fail in school,” Mainor said at the time. “The Democrats at the [Georgia State] Capitol took a hard position and demanded every Democrat vote against children and for the teachers union. I voted yes for parents and yes for children not failing schools.”
Mainor defended her viewpoint by pointing out that certain schools in her district had 3% reading competency rates and how many children are still unable to perform basic math.
“I have a few colleagues upset with me to the point where they are giving away $1,000 checks to anyone that will run against me,” Mainor said. “I’m not apologizing because my colleagues don’t like how I vote.”
Mainor also stated at the time that certain lawmakers “put the teachers union and donors ahead of their constituents.”
When Mainor accused her colleagues of taking offense to how she stood up for her values, the speech took a personal turn.
“It’s ironic. I’ll say every election year, I hear ‘Black Lives Matter.’ But do they? I see every other minority being prioritized except Black children living in poverty that can’t read,” Mainor argued.
“We’ll send $1,000,000 to the border for immigrant services. But Black communities—not even a shout-out. I’m sorry, I don’t agree with this,” she added. “I’m not backing down and I’m actually just getting started.”
Mainor’s decision to switch political parties while in office extends the Republican majority in the House, following in the footsteps of former Democrat and Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, who made the same move in 2021.
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